The following questions regarding strata maintenance contractors and who has the final say to appoint them were submitted to our site via email from an NSW lot owner. Thank you Leanne Habib, Premium Strata for providing the following response.
Question: Whose decision is it to appoint strata maintenance contractors?
My issue is that our committee wants to appoint an expensive gardening company when we have cheaper quotes. A few other members and I are opposed to it, saying it is a waste of money. If gardening can be done for a reasonable amount, why spend big dollars?
Currently, these members and I are seen as troublemakers. The remainder of the owners have a majority and also have the Strata Manager on their side.
We believe the decision to accept the higher quote is not in the best interest of the body corporate. The gardening contractor has been recommended by the Strata Manager and frankly, we question the Strata Manager’s honesty and professionalism.
Are we able to disapprove any company recommended by the Strata Manager, as it is in conflict?
Can we ask the Strata Manager to butt out of Committee issues such as recommending strata maintenance contractors?
The Strata Manager is calling an executive meeting in which we have to decide (vote) to appoint a Gardener and he is saying majority vote will win? Can he do that?
There is no Secretary, Treasurer or any other official in our Committee. I have asked for this previously, but the Strata Manager told us we don’t need any Officials. I noticed that the Strata Manager is always getting his way regarding the appointment of strata maintenance contractors.
Answer: The appointment of a new gardener may be a matter that you and other owners feel is best taken to a general meeting
The Owners Corporation under the Act must appoint office bearers consisting of a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. This is normally done at a committee meeting and traditionally, immediately at the first Committee meeting following the Annual General Meeting each year.
A decision regarding the appointment of a new gardener can be done at a committee meeting if owners have not previously restricted the decision making of the committee in relation to this subject. A majority vote at a committee meeting is the vote required to appoint a new gardener.
There is no conflict of interest if the Strata Manager proposes different strata maintenance contractors to assist with servicing the Owners Corporation, as this will fall normally within their delegated duties on behalf of the Owners Corporation, although the Strata Manager is required under the Act to disclose any direct connection or relationship with any nominated contractors, if relevant.
Further Pursuant to Clause 31 (3), Schedule 2 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 (NSW), persons entitled to vote in respect of lots the total unit entitlement of which is at least one –quarter of the aggregate unit entitlement, can requisition the convening of a general meeting with the proposed motions that are submitted pursuant to Clause 36, Schedule 2 of the Act:
36 Requisition for motion to be included on agenda for general meeting
- Any person entitled to vote at a general meeting of an owners corporation on a motion that does not require a unanimous resolution may, by notice in writing served on the secretary of the executive committee, require inclusion in the agenda of the next general meeting of the owners corporation of a motion set out in the notice and the secretary must comply with the notice.
- The secretary must give effect to the requirement of the notice.
- Subclause (1) does not require the inclusion of a motion on the agenda of a general meeting for which notices have already been given in accordance with this Schedule but in that case the motion must be included in the agenda of the next general meeting after that.
- For the purposes of subclause (1), an owner of a lot who, but for the fact that the lot is subject to a mortgage or covenant charge, would be entitled to vote at a general meeting of the owners corporation is entitled to vote at that meeting.
Therefore, the appointment of a new gardener may be a matter that you and other owners feel is best taken to a general meeting so that all owners can consider the appointment of the new gardener, instead of leaving the decision for the committee, if the committee has different views on the subject.
If so, owners who have at least one-quarter of the aggregate unit entitlement can requisition a general meeting to consider the appointment of a new gardener.
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.
Looking for Gardeners in your area in NSW? Search within our Strata Services Directory in the category Grounds Maintenance for the best list of NSW contacts available.
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